Detrimental Tweets, Facebook’s Priority Change And Snapchat’s Leaked User Data In This Week’s Friday Download
January 12, 2018
By FTI Consulting
Our first story begins back in the prehistoric mists of 2009 Twitter, when a young journalist with a now infamous “caustic wit” spent his 140 characters composing a variety of intermittently unsavoury or offensive tweets. Some years later, Toby Young is appointed (albeit briefly) to a role on the Office for Students Board, and seemingly forgot about the uncanny longevity of social media posts.
A lesson here might be around the order in which to conduct a social spring cleaning – preferably getting one’s house in order in time for public scrutiny, rather than as a consequence of it. And if you’re considering appointing someone “ideal for the job”, may we suggest a quick DETECT (a joint offering with our investigative colleagues from FTI’s Global Risk and Investigation Practice), which may help determine exactly how caustic a wit you’re dealing with.
We’re Going Through Changes
In an effort to make the Facebook experience more “meaningful”, Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that Facebook will introduce sweeping changes to the kind of posts that its members will see most often. Going forward, the mighty Newsfeed will prioritise what users’ friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasising content from publishers and brands.
For users this could be great (although there are questions around whether they’ll see more content which reinforces their own ideologies); however, it’s been noted that the change could hit publishers and brands hard. Facebook has been steadily reducing companies’ organic reach in the newsfeed over the last year. With the latest update making it even more difficult to reach audiences organically, it could mean that paid reach becomes more expensive. If that’s the case it will be interesting to see how this impacts advertisers on the platform – particularly when set against the increasing volume of commentary about whether the value of digital advertising is overestimated.
On the latter point, our view is that a healthy degree of scepticism is a good thing. Sponsoring your content isn’t a substitute for developing quality, creative content – and clearly there is still a data gap when it comes to fully measuring the success of campaigns.
Another week, another cautionary lesson in Snapchat’s millennial fairytale. This time, leaked user data has revealed that flagship features and platform innovations, heralded by Evan Spiegel’s gang as the next big thing, have been dramatically underused by Snappers.
Updates like Snap Maps, and the section reserved for publishers like the New York Times and Daily Mail have attracted extremely limited traffic. Snap Maps (which attracted criticism over privacy concerns among other things) is currently visited by 11% of daily users, down from 17% at launch. Similarly, the publisher section only featured on 21% of daily users’ screens.
These responses to would-be game-changing features that are rendered gimmicks by non-use show exactly why Snapchat is getting serious about changing the platform (to a less than rapturous reception). It also offers a valuable lesson to communications teams looking to “harness social”. Have a presence on platforms your audience use, but just as importantly use those platforms like your audience does.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.